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Seattle Opera.

The (R)evolution of
Steve Jobs

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Feb. 23, 24, 27
Mar. 2, 6, 8, & 9, 2019

A Cutting-Edge Crowd-Pleaser

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February

23

Sat 7:30PM

 

24

Sun 2:00PM

 

27

Wed 7:30PM

 

March

2

Sat 7:30PM

 

6

Wed 7:30PM

 

8

Fri 7:30PM

 

9

Sat 7:30PM

 

Overview

Music by Mason Bates
Libretto by Mark Campbell

Following the world premiere’s “rapturous reception” (The Washington Post), the smash hit of the 2017 Santa Fe Opera season makes its West Coast debut at McCaw Hall! This innovative and crowd-pleasing portrait of Apple’s visionary co-founder “does what opera does best: giving audiences a glimpse into the inner life of its title character” (Marin Independent Journal). Bates’s score dazzles with a glossy mix of lyrical and rhythmic music, combining traditional and electronic instrumentation. Campbell’s compelling, funny, and touching libretto interweaves universal themes of communication and connection, treating its subject with respect and humanity.

Kevin Newbury’s sharp and “visually stunning” (ABQ Journal) staging utilizes state-of-the-art technology to artfully conjure up and skillfully transition between the opera’s 18 scenes. A remarkable example of heightened theatrical imagination.

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© 2017 Santa Fe Opera

Listen to the music

© Ken Howard for Santa Fe Opera, 2017

In English with English Subtitles | at McCaw Hall
Performance Time: 1 hour and 25 minutes with no intermission.

 

This opera contains some mature themes.   Read content advisories

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Synopsis

Prologue, 1965: The Jobs family garage, Los Altos
Paul Jobs presents his son Steve with a workbench as a birthday present.

2007: Convention center, San Francisco
Steve Jobs delivers a public launch of his company's new product—"one device" that will revolutionize technology. At the end, he stops, noticeably weak and short of breath.

2007, directly after: Corporate offices, Cupertino
Steve retreats to his office. His wife, Laurene, chides him for not taking better care of himself and asks him to come home and reconnect with their family.

2007, later that afternoon: The hills around Cupertino
Steve goes on a long meditative walk. Kōbun Chino Otogawa, Steve's former spiritual advisor in Sōtō Zen Buddhism, joins him. As they gaze at the sunset, Kōbun prompts Steve to acknowledge his mortality.

1973: Reed College, Oregon
A teacher discusses the significance of the ensō, a circle drawn in Japanese calligraphy. Steve is inspired by aesthetic ideas of elegance and simplicity.

1973: The Jobs family garage
Steve's best friend, Steve Wozniak, has created a "blue box," a device that allows the user to make free calls. Steve and “Woz” celebrate the ease with which corporate giants can be toppled.

1974: An apple orchard near Los Altos
Steve and his girlfriend Chrisann lie together after taking LSD. Steve imagines their surroundings coming to life as an orchestra, playing Bach. The two start to make love when Kōbun interrupts them.

1975: Los Altos Zen Center
Kōbun informs Steve that he cannot live at the Zen Center and hints that his destiny may lie elsewhere.

1989: Lecture Hall, Stanford University
Steve meets Laurene Powell for the first time.

1976: Jobs family garage
Woz presents a new computer interface to Steve. They begin to celebrate when Chrisann arrives and tells Steve that she is pregnant. When Steve demands that Chrisann end the pregnancy, she leaves in tears. Steve and Woz dream about the future of their invention. Steve remembers the orchestra in the orchard playing Bach.

1989: Steve Jobs' home, Palo Alto
Steve shows Laurene his sparsely furnished home. Photographs by Ansel Adams in Steve’s home prompt a brief discussion about artistic inspiration. Laurene and Steve go to bed for the first time.

1980: Corporate offices, Cupertino
Steve severs ties with Chrisann and angers Woz by denying a fellow employee his pension. Chrisann and Woz lament the loss of the guy they once knew.

1981-1986: Corporate offices, Cupertino
Steve denies palimony to Chrisann for their child, Lisa, and offends Woz, who quits. Demoted by the board of directors, Steve bitterly leaves the company.

2007: The hills around Cupertino
Kōbun reminds Steve that it was necessary for him to learn from his mistakes. He shows Steve a brief replay of his life after he fell apart, revisiting the first meeting with Laurene and the evening when he fell in love with her.

2007, later that night: Steve Jobs’ home
Steve returns home after his walk to find Laurene waiting for him. She confronts Steve and gets him to accept his illness and mortality. Kōbun reminds Steve of his wedding day.

1991: Yosemite National Park
Kōbun marries Steve and Laurene in a Buddhist ceremony. Steve expresses his love for Laurene and his gratitude to her for teaching him about the value of human connection. Kōbun’s 1992 death is revealed, prompting a meditation on mortality that segues into the next scene.

2011: Stanford University Chapel
Kōbun explains that Steve is witnessing his own memorial service. Steve protests a few production elements of the service, but Kōbun tells him to be still, to simplify. Laurene and Woz muse about Steve. Finally, Laurene is left alone and observes that while Steve will be both lionized and demonized, no one can deny his influence on the world.

Epilogue, 1965: Jobs family garage
As Laurene looks on, Paul Jobs presents his son with a workbench on his birthday as "a fine place to start."

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Cast

John Moore

Steve Jobs

At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: Steve Jobs, The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs

Hometown: Milford (Okoboji), IA
Seattle Opera Debut: Count Almaviva, The Marriage of Figaro ('16) 
Previously at Seattle Opera: Figaro, The Barber of Seville (’17); Papageno, The Magic Flute (’17)
Recently: Figaro, The Marriage of Figaro (Hyogo Performing Arts Center, Japan); Jan, Breaking the Waves (Opera Philadelphia); Adario, Les Indes galantes (Bayerische Staatsoper)
Upcoming: Pa, Proving Up, world premiere (Omaha Opera); Achilla, Giulio Cesare in Egitto (Glyndebourne Festival)

Last updated: December 2017

John Moore

Steve Jobs

Feb. 23, 24, & 27
Mar. 2, 6, 8, & 9

Emily Fons

Laurene Powell Jobs

At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: Laurene Powell Jobs, The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs

Hometown: Milwaukee, WI
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Sister Helen Prejean, Dead Man Walking (Kentucky Opera); Ruby Thewes, Cold Mountain (North Carolina Opera); Cherubino, The Marriage of Figaro (Boston Lyric Opera)
Upcoming: The Child, L’enfant et les sortilèges (Berlin Philharmonic); The Child, L’enfant et les sortilèges and La Ciesca, Gianni Schicchi (Ongaku-Juku); Orontea, Orontea (Haymarket Opera)

Last updated: December 2017

 

Emily Fons

Laurene Powell Jobs

Seattle Opera Debut
Feb. 23, 24, & 27
Mar. 2, 6, 8, & 9

Garrett Sorenson

Steve Wozniak

At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: Steve Wozniak, The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs

Seattle Opera Debut
Recently:  Bacchus, Ariadne auf Naxos (Kentucky Opera); Steve Wozniak, The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, world premiere (Santa Fe Opera); Laca, Jenůfa (Metropolitan Opera)
Upcoming: Faust, Faust (Kentucky Opera)

Last updated: December 2017

Garrett Sorenson

Steve Wozniak

Seattle Opera Debut
Feb. 23, 24, & 27
Mar. 2, 6, 8, & 9

Adam Lau

Kōbun Chino Otogawa

At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: Ferrando, Il trovatore; Kōbun Chino Otogawa, The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs

Hometown: San Francisco, CA
Seattle Opera Debut: Papa, Makoto Kobayashi, An American Dream (’15)
Previously at Seattle Opera: The Speaker, The Magic Flute (’17)
Recently: Figaro, The Marriage of Figaro (Lyric Opera of Kansas City); Mephistopheles, Damnation of Faust (Liverpool Philharmonic); Creonte, Medea (Wexford Festival)
Upcoming: Basilio, The Barber of Seville (Kentucky Opera); The Old Hebrew, Samson and Delilah (North Carolina Opera)

Last updated: December 2017

Adam Lau

Kōbun Chino Otogawa

Feb. 23, 24, & 27
Mar. 2, 6, 8, & 9

Madison Leonard

Chrisann Brennan

At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: Chrisann, The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, and Frasquita, Carmen

Hometown: Coeur d'Alene, ID
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Morgana, Alcina and The Rose, Portman's The Little Prince (Washington National Opera); Madeline, Glass’s The Fall of the House of Usher (Wolf Trap Opera); Susanna, The Marriage of Figaro (Amarillo Opera)
Upcoming: Zegner Sister 1, Missy Mazzoli’s Proving Up (Washington National Opera, American Opera Initiative Festival); Ilia, Idomeneo (Wolf Trap Opera)

Last updated: December 2017

Madison Leonard

Chrisann Brennan

Seattle Opera Debut
Feb. 23, 24, & 27
Mar. 2, 6, 8, & 9

Morgan Smith

Paul Jobs

At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: Paul, The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs

Hometown: Cincinnati, OH
Seattle Opera Debut: Donald, Billy Budd (’01)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Jim Crowley, An American Dream (’15); Count Almaviva, The Marriage of Figaro (’16); Riccardo, I puritani (’08) 
Recently: Joseph De Rocher, Dead Man Walking (Kentucky Opera); Eugene Onegin, Eugene Onegin (Lyric Opera of Kansas City); Scarpia, Tosca (National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra)
Upcoming: Herman Broder, Enemies, A Love Story (Kentucky Opera); Tadeusz, The Passenger (Israeli Opera); Musiklehrer, Ariadne auf Naxos (Cincinnati Opera)

Last updated: July 2018

Morgan Smith

Paul Jobs

Feb. 23, 24, & 27
Mar. 2, 6, 8, & 9

Cast

Creative Team

Mason Bates

Composer

At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs

Recently named the most-performed composer of his generation and the 2018 Composer of the Year by Musical America, Mason Bates serves as the first composer-in-residence of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.  His symphonic music is the first to receive widespread acceptance for its unique integration of electronic sounds. The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs was hailed as the best-selling new production in the history of Santa Fe Opera.  As both a DJ and a curator, he has become a visible advocate for bringing new music to new spaces, through his residency with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and his club/classical project Mercury Soul, which transforms spaces ranging from commercial clubs to Frank Gehry-designed concert halls into exciting, hybrid musical events. 

Last updated: December 2017

Mason Bates

Composer

Seattle Opera Debut

Mark Campbell

Librettist

At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs

Hometown: New York, NY
Mark Campbell’s work as a librettist is at the forefront of the contemporary opera scene in this country, with five new operas premiering in 2017 alone. His best-know work is Silent Night, which received the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in Music. Other operas include Later the Same Evening, The Manchurian Candidate, Bastianello/Lucretia, Volpone, As One (produced at Seattle Opera in 2016), The Shining,and Elizabeth Cree. 

Last updated: December 2017

Mark Campbell

Librettist

Nicole Paiement

Conductor

At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs

Hometown: San Francisco, CA 
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Michael van der Aa’s Sunken Garden, American premiere (Dallas Opera); Kevin Puts’s Silent Night (Glimmerglass & Washington National Opera); Joby Talbot’s Everest, world premiere (Dallas Opera)
Upcoming: Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking (Lyric Opera of Chicago); Laura Kaminsky’s Today It Rains, world premiere (Opera Parallèle San Francisco)

 Last updated: December 2017

Nicole Paiement

Conductor

Seattle Opera Debut

Kevin Newbury

Director

At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs

Hometown: New York, NY
Seattle Opera Debut: Mary Stuart (’16)
Recently: The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, world premiere(Santa Fe Opera); The Perfect American (Chicago Opera Theater); Norma (Lyric Opera of Chicago)
Upcoming: Faust and Fellow Travelers (Lyric Opera of Chicago); Norma (Houston Grand Opera)

Last updated: December 2017

Kevin Newbury

Director

Vita Tzykun

Set Designer

At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs

Hometown: Odessa, Ukraine 
Seattle Opera Debut: Semele (’15)
Recently: Scenic designer, The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, world premiere (Santa Fe Opera); Costume designer,The Passenger (The Bolshoi Theater | Ekaterinburg Opera and Ballet Theater); Costume designer, Dinner At Eight, world premiere (Minnesota Opera)
Upcoming: Scenic and costume designer, Faust (Lyric Opera of Chicago)

Last updated: December 2017

Vita Tzykun

Set Designer

Paul Carey

Costume Designer

At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs

Hometown: Wooster, OH
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, world premiere (Santa Fe Opera);Fellow Travelers (Cincinnati Opera and Prototype Festival); Kansas City Choir Boy (American Repertory Theater)
Upcoming: The Revolution of Steve Jobs (Indiana University); Fellow Travelers (Lyric Opera of Chicago); Bernstein’s Mass (Ravinia Festival)

Last updated: December 2017

Paul Carey

Costume Designer

Seattle Opera Debut

Creative Team

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Performances take place at McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer Street, Seattle. Join our email list to receive personalized alerts with updates on traffic, dining, and parking for your specific performance, or choose a topic below to learn more.

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Sponsors

2018/19 Season Sponsor

Lenore M. Hanauer

Production Sponsor

Lenore M. Hanauer
ArtsFund
C.E. Stuart Charitable Trust
Tagney Jones Family Fund at Seattle Foundation

 

Co-commission with Santa Fe Opera and San Francisco Opera, with support from Cal Performances
Co-production with Santa Fe Opera, San Francisco Opera, and The Indiana University Jacobs School of Music

Photos © Ken Howard for Santa Fe Opera, 2017